Monday, April 13, 2009

Help Reduce Osteoporosis and Improve Bone Mass

Are you concerned about bone loss in your body? As we age, our bones lose mass density. There are ways to reduce this process and keep bones healthy into your later years. Here are some suggestions:
  • Eat the right kinds of foods to ensure calcium intake is adequate. Good foods for calcium are - raw dairy, almonds, leafy green vegetables (kale, bok choy, spinach), black beans, salmon, and oysters.
  • Avoid processed and fortified foods to obtain calcium. Popular rhetoric tells us the following foods are a good source of calcium - soy milk, pasteurized and reduced or non-fat milks and other dairy products, fortified foods such as orange juice with calcium, "food bars", cereal with calcium, and corn tortillas. None of these foods are whole and are poor sources of nutrients. The body cannot absorb nutrients from foods that are processed because the nutrients in them are synthetic.
  • Getting enough calcium in your diet may be difficult, so do take a calcium supplement -- for both men and women. The type of calcium you take is important though, don't skimp on quality to save money. Avoid calcium carbonate; it is made from limestone and is difficult to absorb. Ingestion of calcium carbonate can lead to gas and digestion disorders. Read labels and make sure the type of calcium you take is calcium citrate. If possible, find a calcium supplement that is from a whole-foods, organically-produced source. Check with your health food store or health care practitioner.
  • Your calcium should be taken in conjunction with the correct ratios of zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin D. Check with a knowledgeable health care practitioner to make sure your supplements are working correctly for your individual needs.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water daily as the body needs liquid in order to properly absorb calcium. Avoid tap water and bottled water. Get a good filter system for your faucet or purchase filtered water from a good source.
  • If you are age 19 - 50 you need 1000 mg. daily. If you are over 50, you should be getting 1200 mg. daily. Children ages 4- 8 need 800 mg. and children 8 - 18 should be getting 1300 mg. each day.
  • Exercise is an important tool in reducing bone loss. Walking for 30 minutes 3 - 4 times per week is a good activity, but other physical exercise is also useful such as cycling and running. Weight-lifting is also reported to have a positive effect on bone quality as well.

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